November 01, 2018

When the New South Wales (NSW) government implemented controversial gambling reform policies in March, some critics voiced concern that these new laws would increase gambling losses rather than reduce them. Now, eight months later, the NSW government has finally admitted that the policies have had unintended effects on the community.


The implemented laws aimed at reducing gambling losses across the state by implementing a weighting system with regards to pokie machine placement, with socio-economic factors being at the top of that list. It was indicated that about 20% of the state would be banned from receiving new machines.

Several parties had raised concern over the suggested gambling policies prior to their implementation earlier this year. Greens MP, Justin Field predicted that gambling losses would rise as pokie machines would be transferred to establishments that saw more traffic. This increase would come despite the fact that fewer pokie licenses were being awarded to club vendors.

Disagreements Over Effects of Gambling Reform Policies

The news that the recently implemented gambling reform policies have failed has been received with mixed results. Some, such as Greens MP Justin Field, have stated that this is the first time that the NSW government has admitted that the new policies have failed and actually helped raise industry profits.

Others, such as representatives for Clubs NSW, have argued against the idea that the policy has failed, stating that it has even led to a reduction in the number of pokie machines operating across the state. It was also suggested that due to the government not approving all that many leasing arrangements over the last eight months, negative trends in spending could not be fully attributed to the policy.

Finally, NSW Minister of Racing, Paul Toole also provided a comment on the news suggesting that it was, in fact, too early to determine the true effects of the new policy. He further stated that the government will always be engaged in efforts to reduce gambling harm throughout the state.